Lois Williams grew up on Britain’s Wash coast and spent many years abroad teaching as a university lecturer and as a visiting poet in the USA. Her writing is featured on both sides of the Atlantic. She now lives in Norfolk, where she works as an editor.
Here, in her debut pamphlet, the female body proves faulty, mysterious and resilient. She reflects on unchosen childlessness, its hard lessons, and on finding family and consolation in the natural world. Her tenderness of detail is heart-stopping.
On diagnosis & the need to cry
Words like mesovarium make the
ovary’s diseases sound like opera.
Like a conjurer, the radiographer
pulls tissues from a box.
There is no magic, only science,
and numbers, she says, could multiply.
She calls it a tumour.
I picture a snow globe,
the tiny town with its bank & spire,
the assumed people inside.
A kid in a photo on her desk
wears an ‘8’ on his football shirt.
He looks like her around the eyes—
offside freckles where the cheekbones rise.
No one from the future will resemble me.